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What is DevCon?
DevCon is the annual conference for Ethereum developers and touted as our 'family reunion'. That last part is key. While most IT conferences are about the product, this one is for the community. Like TruffleCon, but way bigger.
I've been wanting to go to a DevCon since devcon0, but always had life events to deal with or lack of funds to make it to the beautiful places that they choose each year. I also never really felt like an Ethereum developer until this year.
Life circumstances and good luck made it possible for me to take the time off and go. Yep, self funded, no corporate backing and had to take PTO to get it done, but that worked out for the best as I was able to go as Jeremy the independent guy.
Prague, Czech Republic.
One of the most beautiful cities on the planet. I have been to Europe a few other times, but never to the Czech Republic and have to say the I fell in love with the city of Prague instantly. The people are amazingly nice and beautiful, the food is sensational, and the buildings are architecturally stunning.
My family and I did not want to leave. I can honestly say I wish I could spend a lot more time there to explore the city. I am excited to go back sometime soon, just have to figure out how to get that done.
Thoughts on the venue
The conference was at the Prague Congress Center, which was about a 15 minute walk from my hotel. The conference center was nice and once you got the lay of the land you could travel between sessions fairly quickly.
One of the more interesting areas was the decompression room called Neptune. No laptops or other electronic devices allowed if you wanted to just sit back and relax. I'd love to see this as a trend at IT conferences as it made the days just a bit better.
Thoughts on the food at the conference center
Ham and cheese sandwiches with the crust cut off, doughnuts, traditional Czech soups and main dishes made for an awesome culinary treat. The food seemed un-ending as it just kept coming out all day long. Yes, I probably ate one too many doughnuts on the day they had those. I'll make up for it next week when I restart my work out routine.
You had me at doughnuts.
The lemonade was really freaking good. I think it was seltzer water, mint and lemons. Either way, it was a nice treat in between my never ending cup of coffee to fight jet lag.
Thoughts on the workshops
I really thought we were in a world of hurt on the very first day as the very first workshop was standing room only in a small room with limited WiFi. I was proven wrong as the rest of the week was a bit more dispersed as there were more workshops and talks than one person could possibly all attend. I ended up missing a bunch due to talks and workshops scheduled at the same time. I resolved myself to go to the ones that I know nothing about and things that I would normally not watch on YouTube. Then for the rest of the year I will be watching the recorded sessions. I also focused on the Python development experience as that is my bread and butter.
My favorite workshop was the 'Deploying your first contract with Python' as it was a great session to be in with people of like minds (Fellow Pythonistas Unite!). Here are the slides, which will walk you through the process.
My second favorite was the Embark workshop where we walked through the new features in Embark and deployed a decentralized version of Reddit. Here is the repo for that workshop, just follow along in the instructions folder. Embark 4 is going to be pretty sweet when it comes out.
Thoughts on the talks
The talks were all fantastic.
Vitalik Buterin, Cory Doctorow, Zooko Wilcox, Kaspar Korjus, Stewart Brand, Kenneth Ng, and Primavera De Filippi all had amazing talks just to name a few. I'll probably end up watching those recordings again as I am sure I'll be able to pull out more info.
Here is the spreadsheet for all the talks and workshops: LINK
Off DevCon parties
If you don't get tickets to be in the conference next year, at least go to the town as there were a ton of events scheduled the entire week in Prague.
The most extravagant one was from Blockchains LLC as they had their launch party. I felt like James Bond on a secret mission, they had huge security guards great food and an awesome light show. You can read more about them here. I am sure someone with a better camera filmed it, so you may want to look for it on YouTube.
One of the other interesting parties was the Consensys party in the Prague TV tower. That was really cool to see the city at night from high above. Kudos to the Consensys team for having a mixed juice bar for those that didn't want to drink alcohol, but wanted something else interesting. Personally, after a few beers it was nice to sit back look at the city and sip on a strawberry lemonade.
nice to see doge in the house
I learned a bunch and met a lot of like minded folks to sustain my enthusiasm for Ethereum development in the coming year and look forward to going again on an annual basis where ever that may take me.
You will be blown away from what comes out of this conference in the coming months, and I cannot wait to see it.
Extra credit link list:
OmiseGo's Plasma Chain in action:
Stewart Brand talked about this book, add it to your reading list.
Another recap post: